|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Collection of Antiquities by Honore de Balzac:
would be tried in the Assize Court; he would be condemned and branded.
Most of those who cared for the honor of the family denied the fact.
At nightfall Chesnel went to Mme. Camusot and escorted the stranger to
the Hotel d'Esgrignon. Poor Mlle. Armande was expecting him; she led
the fair Duchess to her own room, which she had given up to her, for
his lordship the Bishop occupied Victurnien's chamber; and, left alone
with her guest, the noble woman glanced at the Duchess with most
"You owed help, indeed, madame, to the poor boy who ruined himself for
your sake," she said, "the boy to whom we are all of us sacrificing
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Letters of Two Brides by Honore de Balzac:
Alas! my sweet, I would not sadden you with the tale of my joys. Let
me give you some notion of your godson's character. The other day we
were followed by a poor man begging--beggars soon find out that a
mother with her child at her side can't resist them. Armand has no
idea what hunger is, and money is a sealed book to him; but I have
just bought him a trumpet which had long been the object of his
desires. He held it out to the old man with a kingly air, saying:
"Here, take this!"
What joy the world can give would compare with such a moment?
"May I keep it?" said the poor man to me. "I too, madame, have had
children," he added, hardly noticing the money I put into his hand.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Book of Remarkable Criminals by H. B. Irving:
Littlefield to light the stove in the lower laboratory. When
Littlefield made to pass from the lecture-room into the
Professor's private room at the back, and so down by the private
stairs to the lower laboratory, the Professor stopped him and
told him to go round by the door in front of the building. The
whole of that day and Sunday, the Professor's doors remained
fast. On Sunday evening at sunset Littlefield, who was talking
with a friend in North Grove Street, the street that faces the
College, was accosted by Webster. The Professor asked him if he
recollected Parkman's visit to the College on Friday, the 23rd,
and, on his replying in the affirmative, the Professor described
A Book of Remarkable Criminals
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Wife, et al by Anton Chekhov:
old days after every such outburst we felt irresistibly drawn to
each other; we would meet and let off all the dynamite that had
accumulated in our souls. And now after Ivan Ivanitch had gone
away I had a strong impulse to go to my wife. I wanted to go
downstairs and tell her that her behaviour at tea had been an
insult to me, that she was cruel, petty, and that her plebeian
mind had never risen to a comprehension of what _I_ was saying
and of what _I_ was doing. I walked about the rooms a long time
thinking of what I would say to her and trying to guess what she
would say to me.
That evening, after Ivan Ivanitch went away, I felt in a